When you meet Fatema, ‘transvestite’ is not the word that immediately comes to mind. But that is how she is referred to by colleagues and strangers alike. She prefers to wear shirts instead of covering herself with a dupatta (scarf) and wears her hair short.In Bangladesh her behaviour goes beyond most peoples’ social expectations regarding gender.
BRAC’s social enterprises have always been based on a drive to find alternate livelihoods for Bangladesh’s rural poor. None were started simply as business endeavours; instead, these unique enterprises have stakeholders. While every business has a purpose of maximising profit, BRAC’s purpose is poverty alleviation. These enterprises provide 72 per cent of the funds for BRAC’s own programmes, ensuring self-sustainability by reinvesting 50 per cent of their profits back into development interventions.
Under the rain-soaked canopy of a mango tree stood a one-room structure with large windows. As we entered, a soft murmur of whispers swept through the room. Curious eyes greeted us with shy, furtive glances. Most workers of the Bangladeshi apparel industry work in grim, unsafe environments, but this place sang a different song. The room was wide and spacious, flooded by broad daylight and fresh air that smelled like rain.
On Thursday, February 24, Richa Agarwal, BRAC USA’s project manager for Aarong, spoke on a panel at the Fashion Institute of Technology's guest lecture series, Creating Sustainable Futures: Women’s Empowerment through the International Fashion Industry.
A little BRAC flavour has been added to the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) 2012! A stall for BRAC Green Enterprise Kanon is present at the 2012 fair, imparting a touch of BRAC Enterprises, its values and its mission on all in attendance
A major initiative of sustainable businesses is to eliminate or decrease the impact made on the environment by harmful chemicals, materials, and waste generated by processes to manufacture products and services.
The following was originally posted by Alice Korngold on Fast Company. Alice Korngold is a Fast Company expert blogger, CEO of Korngold Consulting, and author of "Leveraging Good Will: Strenthening Non-profits by Engaging Businesses."
The following article, written by Jenna Nicholas, was originally published on April 6, 2011 on the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) Blog. One of the most exciting announcements at the Skoll World Forum was revealed during the opening plenary: BRAC and MasterCard Foundation announced a $45 million partnership, created to scale BRAC’s innovative microfinance multiplied model in Uganda (more about the partnership here).
On 25th March, Aarong - A BRAC social enterprise, now in its 33rd year of operation, opened the doors to it's newest Flagship store. Aarong is Bangladesh's leading fashion and lifestyle brand. At 36,000 sq. ft. the new outlet, located in Uttara is currently the country’s largest retail store. True to the Aarong tradition of continuously raising the bar, this store utilises state of the art layout and décor to create an unparalleled shopping experience. While shopping at Aarong, one can appreciate the fact that Aarong is creating employment for rural women who have very few work opportunities. Aarong's value chain incorporates rural Bangladeshi artisans, mostly women, who have kept the age old tradition of Bangladesh's arts and crafts alive.
Last week at a BRAC rural manufacturing facility located in Manikganj, Bangladesh, which is two hours north of Dhaka, artisans were introduced to the Japanese 5S methodology. The artisans are part of the Ayesha Abed Foundation (AAF), Aarong’s manufacturing arm. Aarong is a BRAC social enterprise that has enabled livelihood opportunities for 65,000 artisans across rural Bangladesh.